Rethinking Our Relationship With God And The Teachings of Christ

Jason Littlefield
5 min readMar 23, 2021


In 1882 Nietzsche proclaimed, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?”. Nietzsche’s proclamation was not a slander towards God but a noticing of the world and an outcry for, “How do we fill the void of God?” More than a century before, Enlightenment philosophers began using science and reason to explain the natural world and human condition rather than “God”. Throughout the 18th-19th centuries, a new secular humanism emerged as the solution to the God void. The idea being, humans could correct the limitations, misunderstandings, and misrepresentation of God and therefore, live in greater harmony with themselves and each other. While human endeavors have brought multiple advancements, this utopia without God did not become a reality. By design, humans are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual beings. By diminishing God, we’ve created a spiritual void (God void) that we compensate for with feel-good/quick fixes and adhering to other dogma and rulesets. 21st-Century America reflects more of a dystopia than the world the secular humanists envisioned. The present-day dominant cultural/political narrative explains a worldview of “good guys vs. bad guys” and all humans are inherently evil, and the level of evil is determined by race, gender, and other identity groups. The prescribed way of alleviating this evil is to promote shame, resentment, and strict guidance and control. This narrative mirrors the thought and religious fundamentalism the Enlightenment thinkers began to question. Just as rules of the early church were put in place for power and control, power and control seem to be at the heart of the social justice and climate justice dogma that permeates our world today.

Human history has once again reached the point once again where it’s time to question the current worldview, dominant narrative, and societal practices. I believe it is time to examine our connection and lack of connection with God. It’s also time to rethink our relationship with God and consider the teachings of Christ to rekindle the relationship.

Individual well-being is derived from developing and balancing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of being human. Forsaking God and filling the “God void” with quick fixes and human-centered dogma leads to an imbalanced lifestyle and way of being. I believe reconnecting with God will produce the individual/societal outcomes we all long for.

A belief in God begins with an understanding that before there was religion, man’s attempt to mold God into his liking, there was God. A belief in God is not the acknowledgment of a punisher in the sky” or someone who distributes tragedies at will. A belief in God is an acknowledgment of an almighty, all-knowing, loving, and merciful being. This being is present throughout nature and within every human. A belief in God is recognizing a “light” within the self and a “light” within each individual. When this light shines brightly we are in harmony, when it’s dim we feel dis-regulated, lost, and lonely. Filling the God void with anything except God will (in the long run) compound these feelings of dis-regulation and loneliness. These feelings are the behavioral manifestation of our soul, the light, reaching out to God. These maladaptive behaviors and feelings can be eased through conversations with God and the study and application of spiritual teachings/teachers.

Throughout my life, I have turned to the teachings of Christ to cultivate my spiritual identity and soul. I view these teachings as the antidote for the hateful, shameful and resentful, and pride/ego-driven narrative which dominates the modern cultural landscape. Specific teachings from the Gospel of Thomas are at the heart of my spiritual practice. This text was unearthed, along with other texts, in a 1945 archaeological dig near Nag Hammadi, Egypt. Collectively, these texts are referred to as the Nag Hammadi library. Thomas contains 114 sayings that are directly attributed to Jesus. Many of these sayings are profound while others are mundane and some confusing. My spiritual guidepost comes from the two following sayings:

(48) Jesus said: If two make peace with one another in this one house, they will say to the mountain: Be removed, and it will be removed.

(106) Jesus said: When you make the two one, you will become sons of man, and when you say: Mountain, move away, it will move away.

A noted translation describes the “two” Jesus mentioned as thought and emotion and the “one house” is the individual. Therefore, Jesus stated once we reconcile our thoughts and emotions we will be at peace and be equipped to deal with life’s challenges and times of suffering. Christ also promoted three areas of practice that brighten our light within so that it may shine on those around us. The first is practices that build awareness and equanimity. The original translation of “repent” means “to shift” not “ask forgiveness”. Once we are aware of ourselves and others, we can shift our attention/focus to engaging in activities that brighten our light and positively feed our soul. The second practice is; practices that celebrate our common humanity. Though we (as humans) consist of many tribes we are still connected as one. To honor our “oneness” we must engage with each other in ways that do not diminish our light or the light in others. In Matthew 22:39 Jesus directs us to “Love thy neighbor as thy self”. Christ also encouraged us to engage in practices that promote kindness and compassion. In 1 Peter 3:8 Jesus states, Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.

Christ’s wisdom was offered up more than 2,000 years ago. In his lifetime Christ was seen as a threat to the status quo. For his teachings promoted well-being without government/religious officials and human-created power structures. It seems humankind has reached a tipping point of excess in lifestyle, narcissism, virtue signaling, division, and pride over humility. I truly believe our nation and the world are at a crossroads and we must examine the dominant cultural, political and spiritual climate. Do we continue filling the “God void” with practices and dogma other than God or reexamine God’s role within the individual and society? Perhaps it’s once again time to ask, “how shall we comfort ourselves” [in the absence of God]? My answer is to shift our focus away from the shame, hate, and resentment-filled narrative which dims the light and manifests in undesirable and manipulative ways and return to God through these teachings of Christ.

1) Reconcile thoughts with emotions

2) Engage in practices that promote awareness and equanimity (i.e. prayer and meditation)

3) Engage in practices that celebrate our common humanity

4)Engage in practices that build kindness and compassion for self and others.

Finally, notice when thoughts of fear and judgment arise and when applicable replace them with thoughts of compassion and curiosity.